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Academic service agreements

Independent contractors may be hired to perform a variety of academic services including the development and/or delivery of credit or non-credit courses, seminars and workshops. The following outlines the process for determining the employment relationship and contracting for academic services.

The determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor depends on the nature of the relationship established with the university. This determination should be made before the work has begun as it has significant implications for the university and the worker, including the assessment of taxes, CPP, EI, Worksafe coverage, labour standards, liability and ownership of intellectual property. It is therefore very important that the correct determination be made.

If a worker who is determined to have an employment relationship with the university is paid as an independent contractor without statutory deductions then the university and the worker are both at risk of re-assessment by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This is especially problematic if the independent contractor is already a UVic employee. Any assessment costs will be passed on to the department hiring the worker.

The following documents have been developed to aid decision making and to provide clarity on processes:

The Services Agreement forms are only to be used when the individual providing the service is determined to be an independent contractor, not an employee.

An employee cannot also be a contractor concurrently. If the individual is currently an employee of the university, they must be paid using a payroll form. These forms can be found on the Financial Services website.

Determining a worker's correct status can be complex. If you are still uncertain after reviewing the above documents, please contact the Faculty Relations Associate ( for questions related to Academic Services, or if you need assistance in determining the appropriate payroll form to use.

The UVic signing authority for the Services Agreement shall determine whether the independent contractor is required to possess their own Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance and whether it is at the University's or the contractor's cost. This is expected when contracting for higher risk services (eg off campus teaching/research, use of dangerous substances, etc). The insurance requirement must be stated in the Services Agreement. For assistance in determining the appropriate insurance requirements based on risk, contact

Contractors do not require workers compensation coverage, but must indemnify the University against liability in the services contract. Registration is available on the WorkSafeBC website. If a contractor is registered, their Worksafe BC number should be shown on the contract.

If the individual providing the academic service has been determined to be an independent contractor, the Services Agreement for Academic Services must be filled out and submitted to the Chair/Dean/VPAC as required by the Signing Authority Policy (FM5100) for approval. The following documentation must be included in the request for approval:

Approved Service Agreements must be submitted by electronic copy to Faculty Relations and Academic Administration at